Disclaimer: English Kinda Thing

The sole purpose of the "English Kinda Thing" is to document my attempts to correct my own mistakes in standard English usage and to share the resources I find. In no way do I attempt to teach nobody English through these blurbs--just as I intend not to teach nobody to be a neurotic and psychotic handicap in Ratology Reloaded or Down with Meds! :-)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Candy-countable or uncountable?

Nowadays, I am getting super-insecure about whether nouns are countable or uncountable.

So I came across this sentence du temps passé... "Don't eat too much candy..." and I went... ummmmm... too much candy or too many candies? 8-O

Then, of course, over 2 decades after this word became part of my dictionary, I have to look it up in someone else's dictionaries.  8-O lol

While some of the dictionaries stated that the plural of "candy" is "candies," so the Cambridge Dictionaries Online has the word "candy" defined:

 a small piece of sweet food made from sugar with chocolate, fruit, nuts, or flavors added:
[U] We dove into the box of chocolate candy as if we were starving.

An uncountable mass noun like water... plural when referring to different kinds of candies...

At least, from now on, yours sweet tooth will know that candy is a mass noun--something I must have learned but don't even recall when I had it forgotten... lol

Monday, January 28, 2013

Comma after conjunctions like "And," "But," "So"

Now that I have established to myself that it is OK to start a sentence with conjunctions, I have to figure out whether it is kosher to place a comma after conjunctions (e.g., and, but, so)--yet another incurable propensity of mine.

Based on the sources that endorse or do not fully disapprove such practice, it seems like it is OK to do it if:

1.      what follows the comma is a parenthetical sentence
2.      what follows the comma is a conditional clause
3.      The conjunction is used as a "discourse particle," which has a pragmatic function (e.g., indicating the tone, attitude) but no direct semantic meaning in the sentence--with the consensus on its definition yet to be reached

So I ran the above through my friend who is a veteran copy-editor...

While he gave me the ok on my summarization, he also recommended that, when in doubt, leave it out, and it's "best not to start too many sentences that way." (Oops... it's not me... it's my head... lol)

Interestingly, in the Cambridge dictionary, I found several official examples using the conjunction "so" as the sentence starter followed by a "comma."
  • used at the beginning of a sentence to connect it with something that has been said or has happened previously
  1. So, there I was standing at the edge of the road with only my underwear on ...
  2. So, just to finish what I was saying earlier...
  • used as a short pause, sometimes to emphasize what you are saying
  1. So, here we are again - just you and me.
  • used before you introduce a subject of conversation that is of present interest, especially when you are asking a question
  1. So, who do you think is going to win the election?
Don't know what you might think... yet, I can't help but wonder whether the section of "so conjunction (SENTENCE BEGINNING)" has always been included in the dictionary... especially after reading the discussions in the following discussion forum listed under the title of discourse particle.

The resources I found are as follows:

Discourse particle 
I find the discussions in the following forum to be extremely interesting, and decided to copy and paste  parts of the discourses here.  Beyond my wildest imagination--stimulating discussions as such could take place on what I thought was just a bad habit of my head....

Ann B. • I don't see it as being a literal need for breath, but as the desire for the pause or intonation which, regardless of 'need', is intended by the author.
Iulia D. • Intonation is meaningful, and punctuation gives clues to intonation.
John H. • I agree there is no need for these commas... In short, I don't think MOST style guides endorse this practice, but they don't condemn it.
Kathryn M. •...I think the reason is that in that example the comma is necessary to an understand of the meaning of "now". "Now I'll go by myself" clearly means "I will go by myself at this time," whereas in "Now, I'll go by myself" "now" seems to be functioning as a discourse particle with no specific connection to the time of the events. (Now, I'll go by myself. But don't think that means I've forgiven you for cancelling at the last minute.)
Kathryn M. • ...I also found it interesting that, in introducing the uses of the comma, M-W says it is "ordinarily" used, whereas in introducing all other punctuation marks it says "a _____ is used." This suggests that the M-W editors recognize that, as fashions in comma usage have changed significantly over the last century, and fragments of the old system are still in use by many, it is essentially impossible to state what is in fact correct at all times.
Iulia D. • I think the only rule that stands in grammar is that each point should be logically justified or justifiable .. There is such variety in the world, that adherence to very strict rules without allowing for flexibility, for variation, is like saying that all men should have the same height.
Kathryn M. • ..."so" seems to be used by many (well, I know I use it) as a discourse particle at times. I think "discourse particle" could appropriately be added to the M-W list, except, of course, that discourse particles aren't a part of standard written speech. However, in settings such as this--where written speech is used in a conversational mode--I believe that setting the discourse particle off with commas is, like, pretty standard.
Mim E. • Definitely, like, discourse particles should be set off by commas in the middle of a sentence, but I still resist using them after introductory conjunctions unless those Ands and Ors are being used as mild interjections, which I don't think they ever are, as Now often is.
Nick Trainor • ...Seeking to enforce a viewpoint which doesn't admit of the highly diverse ways that language is used seems quixotic. Idiosyncracy is fine, but if we didn't admit change, subtlety, nuance, and diversity then we would all be speaking as Chaucer spoke and wouldn't have learnt anything from Shakespeare, or the King James Bible, or anything that has come after... do we need to go back to Bede, or maybe Anglo-Saxon, uses of the comma? Grammatical rules are snapshots in time of how folks sought to make better ways to understand each other. Those rules change because folks find new and innovative ways to look at the world, at each other, and our relation to these things...
If we won't admit of change, then at least we all have to acknowledge the contingent nature of our position.... but 9 times out of 10 that rule is quite a young beast in terms of the lifespan of the English language... It has popped its head above the parapet for a while, but it is just as likely to get its head shot off - as has happened to other rules before it.
So, this is an argument from the contingent and, therefore, historically relativised nature of a rule against using commas in funny ways. I would hope it goes some way to give us pause for thought when we start asserting things as wrong in the face of increasingly accepted change.
I haven't argued from the viewpoint of language as communication (the place of the writer) or reception (the place of the reader) but I suspect there are strong arguments against getting wrapped up in strident assertions of right and wrong ways to use commas from these standpoints too. But, as you Americans say: I have written enough already...

Parenthetical phrases, non-essential clause
Conditional statement

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pain--countable or uncountable

The notion of pain is a royal pain in the neck (literally), and it is a real pain trying to figure out whether my pain is countable or uncountable.  So I came across my own writing such as Phenomena.  Da mals I was careless with "pain"; today, I feel the pain--in all capacities--when having to go back to edit my own writing.

The question of the day: my pain-countable or uncountable?

I went through almost all dictionary definitions I could find online on the sensation called physical pain; yet, despite of all efforts, and after the aches and pains resurrected for working too hard and too long, I still can't quite figure out the principle behind the usages given by these dictionaries, and I have no idea what the point is for them dictionaries to simply indicate in one setting that a word is "uncountable and countable."  Can you be even less specific, please?  

At some point, I thought... OK, based on the examples provided by these dictionaries, the word "pain" can be treated as countable if it comes in bouts... like it shots, shots, shots, and throbs, throbs, throbs...  Yet, the example provided by Dictionary.com got me all confused again with the example of "a back pain."  For someone like me with chronic pain, a back pain--like it happens and disappears immediately kind of back pain?  (Can I have that pain instead, please?) 8-O

Then, I went back to them discussion forums I found online and decided to subscribe to the following explanation (http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1925818):

The slightest shift causes excruciating pain - it causes pain as a generalised concept.
The slightest shift causes an excruciating pain - it causes a specific sensation of pain which is locatable in time and space.

Already in pain, don't need more pain on pain, and don't wanna know more pain... speaking of no pain, no gain. 8-O 8-X lol sigh

Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary: the physical feeling caused by disease, injury, or something that hurts the body

  • [noncount]▪ The medication may upset your stomach but if you experience acute abdominal pain call your doctor. ▪ I've had chronic back pain since the accident. ▪ It was obvious that she was in pain. [=feeling pain] 
  • [count] ▪ I feel a dull/sharp pain if I touch the bruise.

  • Cambridge dictionaries online: a bad or unpleasant physical feeling, often caused by injury or illness, that you want to stop, or an emotional feeling of this type:
    • [U] Your whole perspective on life changes when you’re in pain.
    • [C] He was admitted to the hospital with chest pains.
    Oxford dictionary:
    physical suffering or discomfort caused by illness or injury
    • she’s in great pain
    • those who suffer from back pain
    • chest pains
    Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English: [uncountable and countable] the feeling you have when part of your body hurts
    • The pain in her jaw had come back.
    • I had a nasty pain in my leg.
    • Greg was in a lot of pain.
    • If you suffer from back pain, consult your doctor before attempting this exercise.
    • The patient complained of severe chest pains.
    • She felt a sharp pain in her stomach
    • Morphine is used to relieve pain.
    • a few minor aches and pains
    Macmillan Dictionary: [COUNTABLE/UNCOUNTABLE] a feeling that you have in apart of your body when you are hurt or ill
    • chest/stomach pains
    • Harry has been enduring considerable back pain for a number of years.
    • pain in: I'm having terrible pains in my chest.
    • ease/relieve pain: The fresh air had done nothing to ease the pain Kelly felt in her head.
    • cause (someone) pain: An old injury was causing him intense pain.
    • in pain: He heard Leo scream in pain.
    • be in pain: I don't think she's in any pain.
    • a sharp pain (=a sudden strong pain): It was a sharp pain, on his left side, below his ribs.
    1. physical suffering or distress, as due to injury, illness, etc.
    2. a distressing sensation in a particular part of the body: a back pain.

    Other sources:

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    Too much inconvenience or too many inconveniences?

    Found a sentence somewhere in my writing... something like, "...psychotic, neurotic and physically handicapped--a bit too much inconvenience..."

    Too much inconvenience sounds fine but... wait a minute... shall it be too many inconveniences or too much inconvenience?  Or is the word "inconvenience" countable or uncountable?

    After some googling around with all due diligence, I found in some discussion forums where it was stated that  the word "inconvenience" could be treated as a mass noun "if it was just in general a huge hassle getting everything straightened out" and, as countable, "if there are a sequence of well defined inconveniences" --although, while both are acceptable, the usage of "much inconvenience is probably more common."

    Well, it sounds comforting, to a certain degree, that both usages are acceptable; yet, since I have itemized quite a few minor inconveniences in life, do I have to change my sentence to "too many inconveniences"?

    So I looked to see how the word "inconvenience" is defined when assuming the role of an "uncountable mass noun":

    As a result, I figure that "too much inconvenience" might be OK in the context of my own writing if, with the word "inconvenience," I am referring to the general state of being that poses difficulties to my daily living?

    Don't know what the experts might say... but... seems to be good enough a justification for myself, especially in my informal writing--conversation style... 8-O lol

    BTW, when editing my own bad English in a Cafe today, this guys next to me asked this question, "Are you an English teacher?"  So I replied, "No.  I am but trying to correct my own old writing [and mistakes].  Ya.  The "English kinda thing" documents my attempts to correct my Bad English and to share the references I find.  In no way do I intend to teach nobody no English through my blurb--just as I intend not to teach nobody how to be a neurotic and psychotic handicap in Ratology Reloaded or Down with Meds.

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

    Historic vs. historical?

    While my vocabulary is limited to begin with, I have an even smaller vocabulary in the history domain, just as that in the "food" department.  When translating a paper about a history textbook collaboration effort between China and Japan, one stupid question that really got me confused was the difference between "historic" and "historical." (And, ya, never knew that question existed either until then...)

    What I figure so far is that, when the adjective "historic" is used, what you describe is something famous and of great significance.  However, the longer adjective "historical" simply means what you intend to describe has something to do with the study or the representation of du temps passé... history.

    This is what I gathered so far based on the following sources.  Can't assure you I am 100% correct or not since I am only reporting to you what I have learned.  You are more than welcome to construct your own understanding based on the following references.

    Cambridge dictionaries online
    (of a thing or event) important when studied as part of the past: historic buildings and monuments
    Merriam-Webster dictionary
    a. famous or important in history
    b. having great and lasting importance
    c. known or established in the past
    d. dating from or preserved from a past time or culture
    Oxford Dictionaries online
    famous or important in history, or potentially so: we are standing on a historic sitea time of historic change

    Cambridge dictionaries online
    connected with the study or representation of things from the past: The library has an important collection of historical documents.
    Merriam-Webster dictionary
    a. of, relating to, or having the character of history
    b. based on history
    c. used in the past and reproduced in historical presentations
    Oxford Dictionaries online
    of or concerning history; concerning past events: the historical background to such studies

    [Historic vs. Historical] 
    Oxford Dictionaries online
    In general, historic means ‘notable in history, significant in history,’ as in a Supreme Court decision, a battlefield, or a great discovery. Historical means ‘relating to history or past events’: (historical society; historical documents). To write historic instead of historical may imply a greater significance than is warranted: a historical lecture may simply tell about something that happened, whereas a historic lecture would in some way change the course of human events.
    Chicago Manual of Style online
    The shorter word refers to what is momentous in history {January 16, 1991, was a historic day in Kuwait}Historical, meanwhile, refers simply to anything that pertains to or occurred in history.
    Grammar Girl
    “Historic” is an adjective that means something important or influential in history... “Historical,” on the other hand, is an adjective that refers to anything from the past, important or not.
    Some references:

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

    Begin sentences with conjunctions (and, but, or, etc)?

    Apparently, some people were taught in school to never begin a sentence with conjunctions such as "and," "but," and "or."   It must be my old age or I didn't pay enough attention to my dear teacher when in school... I totally had no idea about this one as well until this issue was revealed to me.

    Then, when going through my writing in DWM, I found this incurable propensity of mine to start sentences with conjunctions such as "and," "but," "or," etc.  To cut down on the changes I have to make on the utterances of da moi du temps passe, I decided to look for trusted sources to support such usages.

    Based on what I have gathered so far, there is nothing wrong about starting a sentence with conjunctions such as "and," "but," etc.  Moreover, so it says on the Oxford Dictionaries website: "many respected writers use conjunctions at the start of a sentence to create a dramatic or forceful effect" and "[use] 'and' to start a sentence, typically for rhetorical effect."

    Cambridge Dictionaries Online also has a dedicated section on using "so" to begin sentences and provides numerous examples (though don't know whether it's British style only?):

    • used at the beginning of a sentence to connect it with something that has been said or has happened previously
    So, there I was standing at the edge of the road with only my underwear on ...
    • used as a short pause, sometimes to emphasize what you are saying
    So, here we are again - just you and me.

    The following quote of Charles Allen Lloyd in his book, "We who speak English and our ignorance of our mother tongue," was cited in the Chicago Manual of Style (5.206: Beginning a sentence with a conjunction) and various other sources (e.g., Garner's Modern American Usage, Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage):
    Next to the groundless notion that it is incorrect to end an English sentence with a preposition, perhaps the most wide-spread of the many false beliefs about the use of our language is the equally groundless notion that it is incorrect to begin one with “but” or “and.” As in the case of the superstition about the prepositional ending, no textbook supports it, but apparently about half of our teachers of English go out of their way to handicap their pupils by inculcating it. One cannot help wondering whether those who teach such a monstrous doctrine ever read any English themselves.

    Bryan Garner also provided additional quotes by other authors who intended to debunk the notion of "Never Begin a Sentence with And or But" in his 2009 book "Garner's Modern American Usage" published by the Oxford University Press.

    However, writers do need to make sure what comes after the conjunctions are "complete sentences."  Some authors speculated that one reason why teachers try to dissuade pupils from starting sentences with conjunctions is to prevent pupils from constructing incomplete sentences (e.g., "I have a cat. And a dog.").  Apparently, it might be easier to stop young pupils from beginning sentences with conjunctions than to explain to them that complete sentences are required after these conjunctions. (See "Can I begin a sentence with a conjunction?" on Dictionary.com and "conjunction beginning a sentence" on Random House website.)  At the same time, dictionary.com does mention on their website: "In formal writing, it is best to avoid beginning any sentence with a conjunction." (Pourquoi?  Je ne sais pas. Just a recommendation, I guess? 8-O)

    So it is.  What I learn to date on the issue of "beginning a sentence with conjunctions."  Hope hope I learn is of some help to you, too!

    Friday, January 18, 2013

    Start a sentence with "however"?

    Never knew this is a problem... speaking of you don't know what you don't know... 8-O lol

    It is an issue for some to start a sentence with "however"?

    Apparently, yes, as per the following quote in the NY Times article, "Some Comma Questions," by Ben Yagoda (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/25/some-comma-questions/):
    Steve Morse in Oakland, Calif., notes:
    You wrote “The weather is great today. However, it’s supposed to rain tomorrow.” This was cited as a correct example; however, I was told that what is correct is the construction I am using in this sentence. (“however” after the semi-colon).
    Suellen Wideman from Maryland asks:A question about “however.” You began a sentence with however. I thought that a sentence couldn’t begin with however — that it either had to be separated by commas or follow a semicolon. Am I just old-fashioned or wrong?
    “Wrong” is a harsh word, but “old-fashioned” seems about right. I was actually not aware that anyone ever held this belief until getting (many) e-mails and comments on the subject. I looked the issue up in the reliable reference book “Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage” and learned that Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” counsels against starting sentences with “however.” (Why it would be acceptable after a semicolon, but not after a period, is baffling to me.) However, virtually every other authority (including Merriam-Webster’s) properly says it’s perfectly okay.

    At the same time, the Chicago Manual of Style online gives it an "ok" to start a sentence with "however"  (http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/16/ch05/ch05_sec207.html)

    5.207Beginning a sentence with “however”
    However has been used as a conjunction since the fourteenth century. Like other conjunctions, it can be used at the beginning of a sentence. But however is more ponderous and has less impact than the simple butHowever is more effectively used within a sentence to emphasize the word or phrase that precedes it {The job seemed exciting at first. Soon, however, it turned out to be exceedingly dull.}.
    (To be honest, I never had the "feeling" or knew that the simple "but" has more impact than the longer word "however" until encountering this sentence.  Interesting.)

    Now that it is established that, although it is an issue, it is OK to start a sentence with "however" (which I somehow thought it was a given--ignorance is a bless lol).  What one needs to pay attention to is whether a comma is used or not.

    When you start a sentence with "however" without a comma, this "however" means "in whatever manner or way" or "to whatever degree or extent":
    • However hard Ratprincess tries, she couldn't help loving her own Bad English.
    • "However much you knock at nature's door, she will never answer you in comprehensible words." (Ivan Turgenev, 1860
    When starting a sentence with "however" followed by a comma, "however" means "in spite of that" or "nevertheless":
    • However, Ratprincess just prefers her own Bad English.
    • “It is a great deal easier to go down hill than up. However, they kept on, with unabated perseverance.” (Charles Dickens)
    At the same time, if unsure, put however in the middle of your sentence surrounded by commas instead: "Ratprincess, however, just prefers her own Bad English."

    However, rules are meant to be broken--yours broken from head to toe might as well go on and happily break them rules. 8-O lol

    To end this note, no one in the right mind should ever blindly accept tips on proper English usage from Missy Bad English who is an ESL.  lol

    Then, why on earth am I posting all these blurbs under the label of English kinda thing?   To document my learning la!

    Please find following the references:

    Spaced out in space war: Two spaces between sentences?

    Ever since I learned to type, I have been putting two spaces between sentences.  It was not until back a couple days ago when this friend asked me, "Why do you put two spaces between sentences?"

    I went... "What?"

    Thought that was just the way it is... never even knew it could be a question.

    I was all puzzled, thereafter, about how I picked up the two-space habit. It was not until when I was having a dinner with my former out-of-department adviser did I realize that... I was trained under the good old APA style (version forgotten lol) before they changed it to one space and, of course, even longer before they reverted to the recommendation of two spaces for draft manuscript in version 6. (Guess I got total spaced out on the space issue in between... 8-O lol)

    So what seems to be the recommendations as per APA and Chicago style?

    The Chicago Style goes "one" waythe one-space way; whereas the APA Style (v.6) recommends two spaces between sentences for draft manuscripts but not for the final or published version of a work.

    The matter of the fact.. personally... I have been using two spaces between sentences for so long that it actually makes it more cumbersome to type with one space between sentenceskinesthetic automaticity, I guess.  As a result, since it is hard to teach an old dog comme moi new tricks, might as well leave it to word to replace all them "two spaces" at the very end to save me from an internal space war. 8-O lol

    APA Style

    Chicago Style


    6.7Punctuation and spaceone space or two?

    In typeset matter, one space, not two, should be used between two sentenceswhether the first ends in a period, a question mark, an exclamation point, or a closing quotation mark or parenthesis. By the same token, one space, not two, should follow a colon. When a particular design layout calls for more space between two elementsfor example, between a figure number and a captionthe design should specify the exact amount of space (e.g., em space).

    Quotation marks and other punctuations

    It was not after I took on this second translation job did I come face-to-face with my problems with punctuation (and, yes, I have a problem with being punctual as well. 8-X lol).

    En route to learning English, one of the questions yours Missy Bad English had was where punctuation marks should be placed in relation to quotation marks.

    It should be noted that "Material quoted in the form of dialogue or from text is traditionally introduced with a comma... If a quotation is introduced by that, whether, or a similar conjunction, no comma is needed." (Chicago Manual of Style, 6.50 Commas with quotations, http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/16/ch06/ch06_sec050.html)

    In addition, the following table was provided by Chelsea Lee on the APA website (http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2011/08/punctuating-around-quotation-marks.html).  Chelsea Lee provided a good summary on the usage of punctuation marks surrounding quotation marks.  I have pasted it here to make it easier for you to review.
    Punctuation mark
    In relation to closing quotation mark, place it…
    PeriodInsideParticipants who kept dream diaries described themselves as “introspective” and “thoughtful.”
    CommaInsideMany dream images were characterized as “raw,” “powerful,” and “evocative.”
    ParenthesesOutsideBarris (2010) argued that “dreams express and work with the logic of gaining a sense of and a relation to ourselves, our lives, or our sense of reality as a whole” (p. 4).See more examples of how to cite direct quotations here.
    Semi-colonOutsideAt the beginning of the study, participants described their dream recall rate as “low to moderate”; at the end, they described it as “moderate to high.”
    ColonOutsideParticipants stated they were “excited to begin”: We controlled for participants' expectations in our study.
    Question mark or exclamation point (part of quoted material)InsideThe Dream Questionnaire items included “How often do you remember your dreams?” and “What do you most often dream about?” We found intriguing results.When a quotation ending in a question mark or exclamation point ends a sentence, no extra period is needed.
    Question mark or exclamation point (not part of quoted material)OutsideHow will this study impact participants who stated at the outset, “I never remember my dreams”? We hypothesized their dream recall would increase.
    Quotation within a quotation + period or commaInsideSome participants were skeptical about the process: “I don’t put any stock in these ‘dream diaries.’”When multiple quotation marks are used for quotations within quotations, keep the quotation marks together (put periods and commas inside both; put semi-colons, colons, etc., outside both).

    Also, what is presented here is the American style. Please check the writing of Chelsea Lee for the differences between the American and British styles.

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

    And, yes, I can put a comma there...

    A question came up when I was going back to edit my own writing in Down with Meds, can I use a comma after "And" before "yes" given all the restrictions on da comma after ands?

    Based on the following writing about And and the personal communication with my copy editor friend...

    And, yes, I can use a comma there between yes and and.  8-O lol

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    Including Chinese or Japanese characters in Chicago style

    Since the job I am working on is to translate a Chinese paper into English in Chicago style, it is sort of necessary for me to figure out how to include Chinese characters in the writing.

    Following is the explanation provided by the Chicago manual of style with my own examples.

    14.176Journal articletitle

    Titles of articles are set in roman (except for words or phrases that require italics, such as species names or book titles; see 14.177); they are usually capitalized headline-style and put in quotation marks. As with a book, title and subtitle are separated by a colon. See also 8.154–95. For examples, see14.18 and the paragraphs below. For shortened forms of article titles, see 14.196.
    Menjívar, Cecilia. “Liminal Legality: Salvadoran and Guatemalan Immigrants’ Lives in the United States.” American Journal of Sociology 111, no. 4 (2006): 999–1037. doi:10.1086/499509.

    14.95Capitalization of book titles
    English-language book titles and subtitles are capitalized headline-style. In headline style, the first and last words of title and subtitle and all other major words are capitalized. For a more detailed definition and more examples, see 8.157. For hyphenated compounds in headline style, see 8.159. For headlines in newspapers, see 14.204.
    The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin and Meaning of Life
    How to Do It: Guides to Good Living for Renaissance Italians

    14.95Capitalization of book titles

    English-language book titles and subtitles are capitalized headline-style. In headline style, the first and last words of title and subtitle and all other major words are capitalized. For a more detailed definition and more examples, see 8.157. For hyphenated compounds in headline style, see 8.159. For headlines in newspapers, see 14.204.
    The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin and Meaning of Life
    How to Do It: Guides to Good Living for Renaissance Italians
    For foreign-language titles, which are usually capitalized sentence-style, see 14.107.

    14.193Foreign-language article and journal titles

    Titles of foreign-language articles, like foreign book titles, are usually capitalized sentence-style (see 8.156) but according to the conventions of the particular language (see 14.107). German, for example, capitalizes common nouns in running text as well as in titles (see 11.42). Journal titles may either be treated the same way or, if an author has done so consistently, be capitalized headline-style. An initial definite article (LeDer, etc.) should be retained, since it may govern the inflection of the following word. Months and the equivalents of such abbreviations as no. or pt. are usually given in English (but see 14.71).
    22. Dinda L. Gorlée, “¡Eureka! La traducción como un descubrimiento pragmático,” Anuario filosófico 29, no. 3 (1996): 1403.
    23. Marcel Garaud, “Recherches sur les défrichements dans la Gâtine poitevine aux XIe et XIIe siècles,” Bulletin de la Société des antiquaires de l’Ouest, 4th ser., 9 (1967): 11–27.
    Note the capitalization of Société (the first word of an organization name) and Ouest (the West). Headline-style capitalization of the two journal titles would call for Anuario Filosófico and Bulletin de la Société des Antiquaires de l’Ouest.

    11.109 Titles of Japanese and Chinese works
    As in English, titles of books and periodicals are italicized, and titles of articles are set in roman and enclosed in quotation marks (see 8.154–95). The first word of a romanized title is always capitalized, as are many proper nouns (especially in Japanese).

    11.110 Inclusion of Chinese and Japanese characters
    Chinese and Japanese characters, immediately following the romanized version of the item they represent, are sometimes necessary to help readers identify references cited or terms used. They are largely confined to bibliographies and glossaries. Where needed in running text, they may be enclosed in parentheses. The advent of Unicode has made it easier for authors to include words in non-Latin alphabets in their manuscripts, but publishers need to be alerted of the need for special characters in case particular fonts are needed for publication.

    Footnote citation:
    Dai Bao-cun 戴寶村, "Jieyan lishi yu lishi jieyan: Gaozhong lishi jiaokeshu neirong de jianshi 解嚴歷史與歷史解嚴:高中歷史教科書內容的檢視 [The lifting of martial law, history and the history of the lifting of martial law: The review of high school history textbook content]," Taiwan wenxian 臺灣文獻 [Taiwan literature] 58 (2007): 399-425.

    Including Chinese in texts:
    Change “mandarin” from “national language (guo yu 國語)” to “Chinese langauge (hua yu 華語).

    I feel more iffy about citing books in bibliography though following is what I constructed (8-O):
    Du, Zheng-sheng 杜正勝. Taiwan xin Taiwan hun 臺灣心臺灣魂 [Taiwan's heart, Taiwan's soul]. Kaohsiong, Taiwan: He pan chuban she 河畔出版社, 1998.

    I guess, what makes it so confusing is not the Chicago style itself... rather... the Chinese component- the romanization of the Chinese title, the Chinese version, and the English version.  And, it was not until I was updating this post did I found the sentences "For foreign-language titles, which are usually capitalized sentence-style" and "Titles of foreign-language articles, like foreign book titles, are usually capitalized sentence-style." Not to mention, the Endnote program automatically spit things out in accordance to the English style... (OMG... gotta get back to make mucho mucho corrections... 8-O 8-X)

    I really wish the Chicago Manual of Style could simply come up with examples of what all types of citations should look like in notes and bibliographies- say, in Chinese or Japanese.

    What I have learned so far. Voila! Hope it helps!

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    Comma, no comma in "Philosophy Scholar XYZ ABC?"

    Spent the whole night trying to figure out whether I need them commas when writing a paragraph like...

    "Philosophy scholar XYZ ABC stated that..."

    After spending the whole night plowing through the Chicago Manual of Style online, 4-5 hours later, I find the answer... finally... I found the answer to my question in the following quote.

    6.23Restrictive and nonrestrictive appositives

    A word, abbreviation, phrase, or clause that is in apposition to a noun (i.e., provides an explanatory equivalent) is normally set off by commas if it is nonrestrictivethat is, if it can be omitted without obscuring the identity of the noun to which it refers.
    K. Lester’s only collection of poems, An Apocryphal Miscellany, first appeared as a series of mimeographs.
    This year’s poet laureate, K. Lester, spoke first.
    Ursula’s husband, Jan, is also a writer.
    Ursula’s son, Clifford, had been a student of Norman Maclean’s. (Ursula has only one son.)
    If, however, the word or phrase is restrictivethat is, provides essential information about the noun (or nouns) to which it refersno commas should appear.
    O’Neill’s play The Hairy Ape was being revived. (O’Neill wrote a number of plays.)
    The renowned poet and historian K. Lester scheduled a six-city tour for April.
    Caligula’s sister Drusilla has been the subject of much speculation. (Caligula had more than one sister.)

    Well, since XYZ ABC provides essential information to the noun "philosophy scholar," there is no need for comma before and after the name of the philosophy scholar.  In other words, it should be "Philosophy scholar XYZ ABC stated..."

    Taking me 4-5 hours to get to this conclusion?  Now I will never forget it!  lol